Who’s The Better Choice For Progressives: Hillary Or Bernie?

It is not, to put it mildly, a simple time to be a progressive. If it were simple, the potential first female president in U.S. history would be the obvious choice for those looking to advance long-stymied women’s rights; instead, the more obvious choice for many is another old white man. If it were simple, we could rally around a unifying feminist cause; instead, that cause is splintered along lines of imperialism, intersectionality, perceived electability, and many different historical waves. If it were simple, we’d have a clear grasp on the best way forward for social justice in a government that’s been dominated by increasingly extreme and dangerous conservative ideology; instead, we’ve been left with a stark and sometimes uneasy choice between revolution and pragmatism.

Both candidates have been justly called out for their problematic racial-justice agendas (or lack thereof) and records. One has fought to protect gun rights; the other, Big Finance. Neither candidate is exactly right. Neither is exactly wrong. And one of them must win, lest we’re left with a leader of the free world set on severely curbing the rights of women, immigrants, people of color, and those otherwise marginalized, impoverished, and unprivileged.

So no, it’s not a simple time. But it is certainly an interesting, and potentially even exciting, one. Because, as the primary election marches inexorably forward, we have an opportunity to talk about the issues it surfaces in a fraught but productive way, and to push for real change. The Establishment is doing its part to contribute to that dialogue with an ongoing series sharing the opinions of marginalized voters who have significant stakes in the outcome of the results.

In “When It Comes To Discussing Gender In Politics, Everyone Is Losing, Casey Quinlan talks about the one critical thing missing from our increasingly heated discussion surrounding sexism in the current election.

In “Why I Prefer Bernie’s Revolution To Hillary’s Boardroom Feminism,” Margaret Corvid criticizes Hillary’s limited feminism while heralding Bernie’s expansive revolutionary ideals.

In “Let’s Not Pretend Electing The First Female President Wouldn’t Be Radical,” Rachel Hills owns the fact that she’s voting for Hillary because she’s a woman — and argues that this reason should not be so readily dismissed.

In “No, White Women, I Will Not Be Voting For Hillary,” Olivia Olivia dives into the fraught racial politics of the current election and broader American system.

In “Stop Telling Marginalized People Who They Must Vote For,” Katie Klabusich points out the crucial distinction between political advocacy and shaming.

In “To Move Forward, We Must Stop Enabling The Democratic Party,” Sarah Grey questions our trust in the political system and available candidates to advance progressive ideals.

And in “Why Do Millennial Feminists Overwhelmingly Favor Bernie Over Hillary?” Kylie Cheung explores the implications of an acute generational divide among progressive women.

Many of the articles include exclusive, curated images from the campaign trail by Zach D Roberts, showing what’s happening in the trenches of town halls, voting booths, and colleges across America.

This series, of course, hardly reflects the full scope of the conversation surrounding this election, and so we invite you to help us keep the conversation going by tweeting us your thoughts @ESTBLSHMT — or, if your thoughts demand closer to 800–1,500 words than 140 characters, by emailing us at getestablished@theestablishment.co with your political op-ed pitch. We’ll update this page throughout the season with new perspectives and opinions.

It’s not a simple time. But then again, when it comes to politics, is it ever?


Lead image: A roll of “I voted” stickers sits on top of a voting machine in a Manchester polling place — especially branded for New Hampshire. Photo by Zach D Roberts.

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